Late last month, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (the Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering unit) met with members of the Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group of Bitcoin-related businesses. 

As Reuters reported recently, the purpose of the meeting was to talk about the most effective ways to regulate Bitcoin,  a virtual currency that’s being used not only to purchase goods and services as it was intended, but also to facilitate anonymous money transfers.

Bitcoin can be exchanged for government-issued currency without using traditional banking or money transfer systems. The Securities and Exchange Commission declared in August that investments in the Bitcoin Savings & Trust are “securities,” reasoning that the investments constitute an investment of money because Bitcoins can be used to purchase goods or services, or to pay for living expenses, and they can be exchanged for conventional currency.